Treasury announces Emergency Capital Investment Program for CDFIs and MDIs
On March 4, the U.S. Treasury Department announced a new initiative to provide access to capital for communities traditionally excluded from the financial system that have significantly struggled during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP), established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, will provide up to $9 billion in capital directly to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and minority depository institutions (MDIs) to provide, among other things, “loans, grants, and forbearance for small and minority businesses and consumers in low income communities.” The ECIP will set aside $2 billion for CDFIs and MDIs with less than $500 million in assets, as well as $2 billion for CDFIs and MDIs with less than $2 billion in assets. Treasury notes that the program is intended to incentivize impactful lending, and states it is currently “developing additional ‘deep impact’ metrics to further incentivize targeted investments by participants in those communities most in need of capital.” Institutions seeking to participate in the ECIP can access application instructions and materials along with an application portal here.
To support the implementation of the ECIP, the FDIC, Federal Reserve Board, and the OCC issued an interim final rule to “revis[e] their capital rules to provide that Treasury’s investments under the program qualify as regulatory capital of insured depository institutions and holding companies.” The interim final rule is effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register. Comments will be accepted for 60 days following publication.